CHANDIGARH: The opposition parties in Punjab on Thursday targeted the Congress government over the brutal assault on policemen by villagers in Haryana, with the saffron party alleging that the incident depicted the "complete failure" on the part of the state police in effectively tackling criminals.
The BJP said incidents like this will affect the image of the Punjab Police which is considered as one of most feared forces in the country.
A man was killed and seven policemen were injured on Wednesday as villagers in Haryana's Sirsa district clashed with a Punjab Police team that had gone there to nab a drug supplier, an incident that saw an exchange of fire and the locals brutally assaulting the cops and torching their vehicle.
"The incident shows the complete failure on the part of the Punjab Police in effectively dealing with criminals like drug suppliers under the Congress regime," BJP national secretary Tarun Chugh said.
He said the police should have taken sufficient force to nab the drug supplier.
"The Punjab Police is a brave force and if such incidents happen in which policemen are thrashed badly, the criminals will stop fearing the state police and it will also hit the image of the most feared police in the country," Chugh said.
He sought the formation of a committee by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to suggest measures that need to be taken to prevent such incidents in future.
The Hirsa incident occurred at 5 am when the seven-member team of the Punjab Police was attacked by villagers during a raid at the house of Kulwinder Singh, a resident of Desu Jodha village in Dabwali.
The team had gone to arrest Kulwinder on the basis of information given by two men that they had purchased 6,000 tramadol tablets from him.
An exchange of fire took place between the policemen and some villagers, leading to the death of Jagga Singh, who is said to be the uncle of Kulwinder and bullet injuries to two Punjab Police personnel.
Purported video clips of the incident surfaced on social media showing the policemen being brutally attacked with iron rods, sticks, bricks and sharp-edged weapons.
They were kicked, slapped and dragged on the street. Their vehicle was also torched. The personnel were later rescued by the Haryana Police.
In a similar incident in September, a police sub-inspector was brutally assaulted during a raid at the house of an alleged drug peddler in Amritsar.
In a video of the assault, which had gone viral, the SI's colleagues were seen just standing there.
Referring to the Sirsa incident, the SAD said it shows that criminals are no longer afraid of the Punjab Police.
"The whole policing system has collapsed under the Congress regime," Shiromani Akali Dal senior vice president Daljit Singh Cheema alleged while demanding a probe into the incident.
AAP MLA Aman Arora described the incident as "unfortunate".
He stressed that there should be better coordination between the neighbouring states for nabbing drug suppliers.